Reba: My Story by Reba McEntire with Tom Carter

Reba McEntire’s autobiography, published in 1994, covers her career, beginning with its slow start in the 1970s.  She tells about areba Fan Fair, not long after her recording career began, where the celebrities were busily signing autographs, but no one noticed her.  When a couple finally walked up to her booth, she eagerly got her pen ready; the man asked, “Can you tell me where the bathroom is?”  By the time when she wrote her book, she was one of the music industry’s most award-winning entertainers and a great commercial success and had also acted in several movies.

Reba frankly tells about her personal life, including her two marriages (the first, to a rodeo star, ended in divorce, but the second has been very happy) and the birth of her son.  A sad part of the book is her account of the plane crash in which seven of her band members and her tour manager died.

The part of Reba’s story which interested me most was the description of her early life as a cowgirl on her parents’ Oklahoma ranch.  When she was only seven years old, she was riding off before sunrise to gather cattle and not stopping until after dark.  Her father and grandfather were rodeo performers, and when Reba was eleven, she, too, was competing in rodeos.  Her specialty was barrel racing, where the horse runs fast, comes to a sudden stop, turns a barrel, and accelerates to repeat the maneuver twice more; she usually trained her own horses.

While Reba’s fans will be most likely to want to read this book, those (like me) who have just a passing acquaintance with her singing will find the book a good introduction to this famous country singer.

(Helen Snow, retired from Information Services)

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